Marketers, connect to your CEO

Ultimately, in any company, the CEO is responsible for profitable growth. She wants to grow revenue and manage cost, hence creating shareholder value. Not surprisingly then that most CEO’s manage their company on a P&L level. 

Connecting with your CEO requires you to speak the same language, and that is very much related to return on investment; You either reduce costs, or you increase revenue. 

If you’re considered a cost centre, you will always have to optimize efficiency and if your business contribution is vague, you’ll end up as the first cost centre that gets raided when things get tough.


The days of Marketing as a fine art are gone.

Where marketing communication used to revolve around big ideas and brand awareness. It’s now about brand preference and generating revenue. Marketing teams no longer enjoy budgets based on a percentage of revenue or a standard increase of last year’s budget.

To get the respect from the corner office, you need to speak the language of revenue. You need to be able to show to your CEO & CFO how much of every Euro you spend, contributes to the top-line. A traditional way of measuring this contribution, is making reports about marketing sourced revenue.

Diligently marketing managers go through the leads they collected to find the ones that were converted to a real sale. They combine all these contributed wins in nice looking dashboards they proudly take with them into the executive meetings. Only to have a sales leader cry out foul as he discovers in the list some leads that came in through personal relations. Whether marketing played a role or not, becomes irrelevant when this happens. In the eyes of the executive team, marketing has once again lost credibility. 

There is a way out of this destructive cycle, it is called revenue attribution. By implementing this, you will be able to state for almost every marketing expense, how much it contributes to revenue. Properly implementing this methodology, will even withstand the scrutiny of your CFO when he drills through to the lowest level of your cost centre.

When properly combined with the length of the sales cycles, revenue attribution will also allow you to forecast future revenue streams.


By clearly showing to the executive office what the contribution is of your team to the main targets of the company, you will earn your place back into the boardroom.

The days of Marketing as a fine art are gone.